You're so Talented!
Updated: Apr 15
Just recently, I heard someone say, "I'm not talented, I'm practiced." and it made me think.
It's not just talent. It's years and years of excruciating failures and exhultant accomplishments that make up a true artist's talent—and our work holds true value.
Y'see, I don't know any other artists who get by on talent alone. No. The talent is the fuel. It's the desire. And it can only get you so far. It's the hunger for more knowledge, more skills to add to our portfolio, that keeps us going. Artists in all walks of life—musicians, craftsman, painters, designers,writers—they work. They study. They watch youtube videos, take classes, and pick up on things they learn from years of study and work. (I can't say work enough.)
Art takes work. It takes dedication. It takes hours of failures and moments of accomplishments. Many of us do it because we need the creative process. Nothing feels quite so good as to fall into the flow zone of painting or writing for hours, lose track of time, and realize that somehow all of the doritos are missing. That dang cat!
Because of talent, many times—most times—artist's work is undervalued. People think, "This is a great drawing, but they could whip one of these out in no time." They try to get the best deal, or worse, try to get stuff for free. Now, I grew up in the art world and I still expected art to be given to me for free or for some dopey old trade back in the day. And trades can be good. But, the more greys I get in my hair and the more experience I have, I know the artist who spent all that time, money, love, desire—their work deserves respect. It deserves your money, and it deserves real value.
Not only that, but studio space, power tools, drawing tablets, paper, printers—they all cost money.
We creatives beat ourselves up enough. Imposter syndrome is REAL and very paintful when everyone else around seems to tell us the same thing we're telling ourselves: "This price is too high." "This piece is not worth it." "You're not good enough.” "You're not a real artist/writer, etc."—even though we put the time and effort into bettering ourselves.
"You're so talented!" I can never hear this enough! I am truly thankful for my own "patrons of the arts" and supporters. My whole life I've striven to be the best I can, but still, I used to cringe when I'd look at my older art pieces or chapters in my old manuscript. Now, I smile. They show growth. They show that I've been working at my craft.
So, how do you show appreciation for an artist's work?
-Buy their painting, book, music, cutting board, etc.
-Don't expect it to be free just because "they like to create that stuff anyways, so..."
-Leave a positive review on etsy, goodreads, amazon, instagram. Then, spread the word!
-Support them on amazing platforms like patreon. Subscribe to a monthly deal, like $5. You get free, exclusive info, they get supported doing what they love.
And next time one of your friends you knew back in High School becomes a professional photographer, don't ask them to come to your wedding—oh, and could you do the photographs, too? For free? Y'know because we used to be in history class that one time?